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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Skier saved from death plunge by Blackberry

A skier who slipped into a crevasse in the Swiss Alps was saved from falling 700ft to his death by his Blackberry mobile phone.

BlackBerry Storm
Despite the accident, the skier's Blackberry still worked and he used it to call his wife during the 10 days he spent in hospital

David Fitzherbert's half-inch wide handset in his breast pocket caused him to get wedged in a crack of ice, stopping him from falling further.

Remarkably, the phone still worked after keeping him stuck for two hours until a mountain rescue team winched him to safety.

Mr Fitzherbert, 52, was skiing off-piste down a glacier in the Matterhorn and Monterosa peaks when he fell into the crevasse.

The married finance worker from Kensington, west London, told The Sun: "After 70 feet it narrowed and I became stuck like a cork in a bottle between the walls.

"Fortunately, the extra inches of the Blackberry were enough to block the fall."

Mr Fitzherbert broke his jaw, damaged his teeth, broke a bone in his chest and nearly had his nose ripped off in the fall.

However, his mountain guide made a distress call and rescue workers came to cut him out of the ice.

Mr Fitzherbert added: "I was stuck so fast that they had to get a drill and dig away at the ice around me.

"I was eventually winched out by a helicopter rescue team."

Suffering from severe hypothermia, he was airlifted to hospital in Bern, Switzerland, where surgeons reattached his nose.

Despite the accident, his Blackberry still worked and he used it to call his wife during the 10 days he spent in hospital.

He added: "It was still working well enough for me to tell her I was alive. I couldn't believe it."